Sharjah: Mayank Agarwal outshone his Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul with a maiden IPL hundred as the duo pummelled the Rajasthan Royals bowlers into submission to post an imposing 223 for 2 here on Sunday.
Agarwal (106) and Rahul (69) stitched 183 runs for the opening stand, the highest partnership for any wicket so far this season as they took apart the Royals bowlers who were also wayward in their line and length.
The duo just missed the record of highest opening wicket partnership in IPL history by a mere two runs when Agarwal was out in the 17th over after hitting 10 fours and seven sixes during his magnificent 50-ball knock.
Nicholas Pooran then hit 25 not out from just eight balls while Glenn Maxwell also remained unbeaten on 13.
Rahul was content to playing second fiddle to Agarwal though the KXIP captain also made some brilliant shots during his 54-ball knock studded with seven fours and a six, continuing his rich vein of form after his 132 not out against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Agarwal surged ahead of his captain by reaching his fifty (from 26 balls) in style with a six off Shreyas Gopal and followed it up with another maximum to bring up KXIP’s 100 in the ninth over.
KXIP reached 110 at the halfway mark.
The Royals captain Steve Smith kept on shuffling his bowlers and spinner Rahul Tewatia was hit for 19 runs in the eighth over, which included two sixes and a four.
The Royals bowlers had no clue how to deal with the marauding opening duo. Only Ankit Rajpoot conceded less than 10 runs an over....